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Remain apolitical, Diri warns Bayelsa monarchs

Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has warned traditional rulers not to indulge in partisan politics.

The governor issued the warning at the palace of the Ibedaowei (traditional ruler) of Kolokuma Kingdom, King Mozi Agara, in Kaiama, headquarters of the Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area as he rounded off his re-election campaign in constituency 1 of the FC area on Saturday.

He stressed that monarchs in the state should refrain from partisan politics, adding they can receive and pray for any politician but should not operate outside the extant chieftaincy laws of the state, according to the Independent.

The state government had on October 18, 2023, announced the suspension of the traditional ruler of Opokuma kingdom, King Boutua Aranka, “due to a reported case of falsehood and a misrepresentation of the chieftaincy laws of the state.” It also constituted a seven-membeRr panel to investigate the allegations brought against him.

At the event in the palace, the monarchs of the KOLGA conferred chieftaincy titles of “Olotu Kpekpe 1” (the one and only champion) and “Kuro Okpo 1” (Strong one) of Kolokuma/Opokuma on Diri and his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, respectively.

He said, “We are not in Kolokuma/Opokuma to campaign. We came to greet our people and spend time with them.

“We thank you for your support over the years and we promise not to let you down. We are also confident that you will continue to support us.

“For our traditional rulers, I have been saying it that the traditional institution must not be involved in politics. You can receive and pray for anybody but you should not go beyond that. Traditional rulers should not be partisan.”

Diri also spoke at rallies in Odi, Kaiama and his community, Sampou, where he inaugurated the Government Technical College and completed internal roads, while the council of chiefs led by the paramount ruler, Chief F.C.O Usikoromugha, prayed for him and his deputy as they go into the polls.

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